Well, one part anyway.
Microsoft's Kinect is basically a very fancy motion-capturing camera. A lot of folks would probably be too creeped out to keep a giant webcam in their living room above the TV. But the Kinect isn't meant for video communication, so it's not like someone could just watch your family while they game. Microsoft wouldn't allow that.
At least they wouldn't allow anyone else to do that. We reported earlier that Microsoft is busy shopping information about how you game to Advertisers. They are offering the physical data for the people behind the camera. That way the ad-men can know how many people saw their advertisement and what they did when they saw it.
Microsoft's promise is that this data will only get out in numerical form. Redmond won't just send out videos of you playing Kinect Adventures. But they will give out detailed lists of every gesture and movement you made during your sessions. And, of course, the fact that Microsoft can get this data in any abstract form means they have access to your direct video feed.
Again, the odds of anyone actually doing that are pretty low. But this certainly adds in another dimension to consider when mulling over a Kinect purchase. Are you okay being watched while you game?
It'll be interesting to see what kind of legs this story can develop over the next few days. If it ends up getting national coverage, things could turn very unpleasant for Microsoft. This is the kind of story that could rapidly get blown out of proportion. People don't mind the fact that their webcams can be used to spy on them, but their home entertainment system?
In 1984 every IngSoc citizen's home had a giant wall-mounted television with a camera inside of it. There used to be a special horror in imagining that same situation. A world where your most private life details were open to anyone (anonymously) viewing you from your television. Now half a million of us are willing to pay money for that "horror", as long as it comes with a few decent games.
I wonder what future generations will think about that part of the story. Maybe they'll just wonder why Winston only ever played the Fitness game.